Grants:Project/AfLIA/Wikipedia in African Libraries/Final
Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the grantee's project.
Part 1: The Project
The Wikipedia in African Libraries project was a major pathway for giving African librarians and information workers a better understanding of how Wikipedia works so as to make them properly equipped to use the resource for information services and telling the stories of their user communities. The project also provided the opportunity to draw African librarians into Wikimedia communities in their countries. Significantly, it enabled the creation an ever-expanding network of African 'Wikibrarians' as a standalone group yet with members deeply embedded in the Wikimedia communities in their different countries. The project also showcased libraries and information resource centres as relevant partners/collaborators for growing the Wikimedia movement in Africa.
Train approximately 10 librarians each in 30 countries in Africa to understand Wikipedia as a veritable resource for dissemination of information and a teaching tool that promotes quality education thereby increasing access to the resource and serving their user communities better.
The project met its target of training 300 librarians and information workers from 30 African countries. 469 librarians and information workers from thirty-four African countries participated in the training and the participants were from countries in the five regions of the continent as represented in the table below
|1||Central Africa||Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo|
|2||East Africa||Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somali, Tanzania,Uganda|
|3||North Africa||Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan|
|4||Southern Africa||Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe|
|5||West Africa||Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire, Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo|
Train African librarians to be able to evaluate the quality and reliability of individual articles, edit and create content of local and personal interest on Wikipedia with laid down benchmarks for quality and relevance.
The OCLC Wikipedia + Libraries, Better Together curriculum was adapted to particularly help African librarians and information workers understand;
- Why Wikipedia is important for them as African professionals and individuals as well as for their libraries and user communities in the continent
- How to critically evaluate Wikipedia as information professionals
- Essence of the Five pillars of Wikipedia and how to use them
Participants were taken through the adapted course 'Wikipedia in African Libraries' and were able to edit, create 483 quality articles and upload 2546 images of their locale.
Train librarians to teach their user communities to use and contribute to Wikipedia’s by taking them through the editorial processes and quality standards of the resource. As part of the online training, librarians will be encouraged and supported to physically run Wikipedia programmes in their libraries as community projects or assignments integrating what was taught (eg Friendly Space policies) in the course with feedback pathways on the teaching platform to assist the facilitators to know the outcomes of the programmes.
Section four of the Wikipedia in African Libraries course dwelt extensively on how librarians and other information workers can use the resource to empower their user communities. Section five focused on steps to engage their user communities in order to teach them how to write their stories by themselves. Participants in the course were led to understand how to define the goals for community engagements, who they plan to reach and how to explain the expected benefits of the engagement to the community. The training also included how to get institutional support, collaborations/partners as well as how to know if the community engagement was successful or not.
Nurture relationships between Wikipedia communities in Africa with libraries. This is expected to lead to collaborations with librarians during the and after the life-cycle of the project.
The training was intentionally designed to include meet and greet sessions with Wikimedia communities in Africa as well as online live sessions that featured community-embedded Wikimedians. This exposed the participants to the existence of the communities and enabled link-ups and integration of the participants into the Wikimedia communities in their countries. In countries where there are no Wikimedia communities such as Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean participants joined the meet and greet sessions of other countries.
Important: The Wikimedia Foundation is no longer collecting Global Metrics for Project Grants. We are currently updating our pages to remove legacy references, but please ignore any that you encounter until we finish.
- In the first column of the table below, please copy and paste the measures you selected to help you evaluate your project's success (see the Project Impact section of your proposal). Please use one row for each measure. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please include the number.
- In the second column, describe your project's actual results. If you set a numeric target for the measure, please report numerically in this column. Otherwise, write a brief sentence summarizing your output or outcome for this measure.
- In the third column, you have the option to provide further explanation as needed. You may also add additional explanation below this table.
|Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
|Hire a Wikipedian-in-Residence for a 12-month appointment. The request to the Wikimedia Foundation is to support the salary of the Wikipedian-In-Residence for the 12 months term||A Wikipedian in Residence was hired for the project and funds were available to pay her from mid August 2020 to September,2021.||An extension was approved for two extra months with no additional costs to the Wikimedia Foundation.|
|Reach out to Wikipedia volunteers through African Wikipedia communities to serve as mentors to the course participants||Wikipedia volunteers were used for live sessions, to serve as show-and-tell guides for the participants|
|Adapt OCLC online training curriculum (Wikipedia + Libraries: Better together), modules design and program materials for approximately 300 librarians in Africa||The curriculum was adapted by a curriculum consultant and the Wikipedian in Residence to reflect African perspectives and realities.||Approval was given for the hiring of a curriculum consultant to work with the Wikipedian in Residence for three months (September-November, 2020) for adapting and piloting the curriculum. The content of the curriculum as well as the mode of delivery were adapted to suit an African audience|
|Translate the adapted curriculum, modules design and training materials into French for librarians in French speaking countries||The adapted curriculum was translated into French Wikipédia dans les Bibliothèques Africaines||The translated curriculum was hosted differently from the English version on Moodle platform specifically for French speaking librarians and information workers.|
|Make the adapted and reviewed training program curriculum, modules design and resources in English and French freely available on AfLIA website for other librarians and their user communities who wish to engage with the content either for direct use or to adapt at the end of the project||The course materials (English and French) are hosted on Moodle platform and are now freely available on AfLIA's website (https://web.aflia.net/wikipedia-course/||It can be accessed under the 'Resources' menu on the website.|
|300 participants for the online training||There were 469 participants in the course||The numbers are made up from participants in the pilot Cohort (28), Cohort 1 (311) and Cohort 2 (130).|
|300 newly registered users||320 librarians and information workers|
|100 content pages created or improved across all Wikimedia projects||843 articles were created while 6.17k references were added||The numbers are made up from work done during the pilot stage (84 articles created and 728 references were added), Cohort 1 (539 articles were created and 4.54k references added) and Cohort 2 (220 articles were created while 902 references were added). Also, 2546 images were uploaded to Wikicommons|
|At least 100 librarians joining the 1lib1ref campaign in January 2021||55 librarians and information workers||This number is low because of a major reason. AfLIA had started the African Librarians Week as an integral part of the May 1Lib1Ref campaign in 2020. It has become a flagship AfLIA programme. Librarians and information workers have learned to focus more on the May 1Lib1Ref campaign since it is when the African Librarians Week takes place. The 2021 May 1Lib1Ref campaign had 241 editors - https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/courses/AfLIA/AfLIA_1Lib1Ref_African_Librarians_Week_2021_(May_-_June_2021)|
Looking back over your whole project, what did you achieve? Tell us the story of your achievements, your results, your outcomes. Focus on inspiring moments, tough challenges, interesting anecdotes or anything that highlights the outcomes of your project. Imagine that you are sharing with a friend about the achievements that matter most to you in your project.
- This should not be a list of what you did. You will be asked to provide that later in the Methods and Activities section.
- Consider your original goals as you write your project's story, but don't let them limit you. Your project may have important outcomes you weren't expecting. Please focus on the impact that you believe matters most.
A total of 1.13million words were added to Wikipedia by participants of the Wikipedia in African Libraries course during the pilot testing of the adapted OCLC curriculum (141k words), Cohort 1 (800k words) and Cohort 2 (191k words). Also, a total of 2546 images were uploaded of different African localities, buildings, artifacts, events and notable personalities. These statistics point to the fact that Wikipedia as an information resource has become more acceptable to libraries and information centres in the continent as the project had a massive buy-in by librarians and other information workers in Africa even as each Cohort had more applications for admission than could be coped with. Interestingly, participants in the project have built up a network that enables them to communicate, inspire and support one another as they try out what they learned in Wikipedia in African Libraries course.
The Wikimedia communities in Africa gladly welcomed librarians and information workers into their midst. This has led to new relationships which encouraged the project participants to participate in Wikimedia programmes in their individual countries as well as have support as they apply for grants and physically run editathons in their libraries as community projects or assignments integrating what was taught in the course. In Zimbabwe where no Wikimedia community exists, participants in the project are organizing for setting up a formal Wikimedia Zimbabwe community.
The project also sharpened the media and information literacy skills of African librarians and information workers and helped them to practically understand how to be active digital citizens and information professionals in collaborative online spaces.
However, there were tough challenges. The completion rate of online courses is globally acknowledged to be low. This is exacerbated when there are connectivity issues, inadequate digital skills and lack of digital infrastructure. The Wikipedia in African Libraries course almost followed that trajectory as not all that were admitted into the course eventually finished. Furthermore, a number of participants had challenges of work life balance, time management and how to cope with volunteerism. This affected their participation and outputs within the course. These challenges were overcome through personal interactions, extra tutorials and time allowances for those lagging behind.
If you used surveys to evaluate the success of your project, please provide a link(s) in this section, then briefly summarize your survey results in your own words. Include three interesting outputs or outcomes that the survey revealed.
A pre-training research was conducted to determine the availability pf digital infrastructure and the digital skills of African librarians and other information workers as well as their knowledge, perceptions and prejudices about Wikipedia. The findings provide baseline information that is critical for understanding the evaluation of the course. The report can be accessed here - https://web.aflia.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/WIKIAfLIBS-PROJECT-PRE-RESEARCH-SURVEY-REPORT.pdf
The major findings were:
- An overall perception index of 2.88 was observed. This showed a weak negative perception towards Wikipedia. Findings show that most of the respondents had a poor perception regarding the credibility of information available on Wikipedia and little to no perception towards editing and review processes of the platform.
- 68.7% of the prospective participants in the course will rely on mobile Internet for connectivity. This implies that majority of the participants are most likely going to directly and personally pay for the internet they need to access the Course. With the cost and instability of internet in some parts of Africa, this may have a direct effect on the completion of Wikipedia in African Libraries course by participants.
- 63% of African Librarians were not aware of any Wikimedia communities in their home countries. This meant that the course had to include sessions for introducing the participants to leaders of Wikimedia communities in their countries.
A final survey was done to evaluate the course, to know what worked and what didn't work. The final survey was also to gather qualitative data that might illuminate what changed in terms of knowledge, perceptions and prejudices about Wikipedia. Findings indicate that more African librarians gained experience in editing Wikipedia and sister projects, joined Wikimedia communities in their countries and were able to host Wikipedia activities in their different libraries. - https://web.aflia.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Post-training-Evaluation-Questionnaire-WikiAfLibs.pdf
Some of the major findings are:
- There is an observed favourable shift in perception of Wikipedia as a resource for free knowledge relative to a similar perception assessment during the baseline. A perception index of 3.95, which reflects a significant improvement (from a baseline index of 2.88) in perception towards Wikipedia was computed from the responses.
- Majority of the WikiAfLibs participants (68.3%) had no prior experience with editing or contributing to Wikipedia and its sister collaborative platforms before they joined the Wikipedia in African Libraries course. This finding is significant as a major impact of the project as it clearly indicates that more African librarians and information workers have become exposed to Wikipedia and how it works as well as it's versatility in serving as a resource for the provision of information services.
- Before enrolling in the Course, 21.3% of the participants were active members of their respective Wikimedia communities. At the end of the project, this indicator has increased to 42.7%.
- Again, 85.1% of the participants had never hosted any editathon or Wikipedia event either singly or collaboratively before joining the course. This is a highly significant finding that underscores why the project had to be done. This figure declined to 73.3% by the end of the Course. It can be asserted that, through this Course, the number of African librarians and information workers who have been able to singly host or collaborate to host any editathons or other Wikipedia events before enrolling in this Course has increased by approximately 12%. It should be noted that the events were organized during the life of the project. There is great potential for more outreach events by African librarians and information workers who went through the course to promote the Wikimedia projects and train more editors who could be colleagues or their user communities. The impressive margin is therefore expected to further increase with time.
- The Course has enhanced the computer and digital skills as well as the research skills and capacity of the participants, 94.3% and 95.5% cumulatively.
- (27.1%) of the participants found Section 5 - Wikipedia + Programming as the most difficult part of the Course. The difficulty of the section primarily bordered on the assignments participants were required to submit. This is expected since Section 5 was structured in a way for participants to team up and develop and present community engagement plans to organize a Wikimedia event.
- Majority of the participants consider that their expectations for participating in the WikiAfLibs Course has been met. Based on the following impressions: Excellent (40.2%), Very good (32.9%), Good (19.5%), Fair/Satisfactory (4.9%), Poor (1.2%) Very Poor (1.2%).
The report can be accessed here - https://web.aflia.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/WIKIPEDIA-IN-AFRICAN-LIBRARIES-PROJECT-POST-TRAINING-EVALUATION-REPORT-1.pdf
Is there another way you would prefer to communicate the actual results of your project, as you understand them? You can do that here!
Methods and activities
- Please provide a list of the main methods and activities through which you completed your project.
Monitoring, evaluation and learning activities
The project conducted pre-training and post-training evaluation research. Findings from the baseline study informed project implementation. Findings from the end-line study revealed the success and impact of the project and provided us with the opportunity to review effective and non-effective strategies. This will feed into strategies for subsequent similar projects
Curriculum development (sections and modifications)
The WiR and CDC were employed to use the OCLC curriculum to create an adapted curriculum and course that is more friendly to the African context. The final course content was in both French and English
The course was divided into five main sections that a) Leveraged the participants' existing knowledge in library and information sciences and how it relates to Wikipedia
Section 1 - Wikipedia for you, your library and your community
Mission alignment , Principles of Wikipedia and the 5 Pillars of Wikipedia
Section 2 - Evaluating Wikipedia with a critical eye
Part 1 - Navigating notability & conflict of interest
Part 2 - Core Content Policies, assessing article quality and using Wikipedia for research
Section 3 - Contribute to the Wikipedia body of knowledge
Part 1- Editing on Wikipedia (the sandbox, visual and source editing, adding citations)
Part 2- Dealing with local languages on Wikipedia and the Content Translator tool
Part 3 - Dealing with images and photographic content, Creative Commons Licenses
Section 4 - Wikipedia empowers your community
Part 1 - Forms of engagement for you and your community; Wikimedia programs, projects and organisations
Part 2 - Offline access to Wikipedia and education; Wikipedia programs
Section 5 - Community engagement with Wikipedia
Part 1- Steps to community engagement and event organisation (the Outreach Dashboard and other tools/metrics for event organisation)
Part 2 - Community Resources ; the community around us - user groups, chapters and affiliates in Africa
This course was designed and delivered online using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous methods over 12 weeks. The course was divided into five sections, and each section had 2-3 parts. A Learner Guide for each section was also provided to help learners navigate through the parts of each section of the course; this would include the assignments, related links, and suggested readings.
It was also structured to employ a mix of interactive tools (for example Mentimeter) and approaches such as discussion groups, group and individual assignments, attending live sessions, break out rooms, among others.
1. Part 1 of each section was intended to give the participants room to interact and share their experiences and perceptions of previous sections contains ; the WiR would also share announcements and community information in addition to laying the foundation for the concepts that were to be dealt with.
2. Part 2 was a 90-120 minute live online session where the WiR would explain and connect the materials, concepts, and ideas directly to library practice. The Guest presenters, who were practicing librarians as well as Wikimedians on the African continent would then illustrate the topic of the session.
3. Part 3 of every section was an assignment. The assignment was designed for learners to deepen their understanding of the section’s content by doing one or more activities; these ranged from exploration, evaluation, editing or engagement planning, along with discussion and reflection about these activities with the other learners in the discussion forum.
Calls were made for participation in the course and librarians and other information workers were given the options of joining at three different instances as they were admitted into two Cohorts as well as an initial pilot test Cohort of the adapted curriculum. Piloting the training – After developing the Wikipedia in African Libraries curriculum, we opted to pilot test an abridged version before rolling the course out in full scale. The pilot course was typically set up to have almost the same kind of features as the main course, except for the duration. Observations, interactions and feedback from the 6-week long pilot course enabled us to identify the potential setbacks and bottlenecks and the identified challenges which were within the capacity of AfLIA to correct were resolved accordingly.
The link to the dashboard is here https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/courses/AfLIA/Wikipedia_in_African_Libraries_-_Pilot_Cohort_(November_-_December_2020)
Main Cohort 1 :
The first main cohort studied between 01 February and 01 June. Participant statistics and participation can be accessed on the Outreach dashboard.
The link to the dashboard is here : https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/courses/AfLIA/Wikipedia_in_African_Libraries_-_Cohort_1_(February_-_April_2021)
Main Cohort 2 :
The second main cohort started on 01 July (English)and had their virtual graduation on 01 November . This graduation also served as the convocation and closing ceremony for the project. The French-speaking participants started their course
The link to the dashboard is here : https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/courses/AfLIA/Wikipedia_in_African_Libraries_-_Cohort_2_(June_-_September_2021)
- Course materials were hosted on the Moodle platform. Participants were taught how to navigate the features of the platform as part of their course orientation and a recording made available afterwards for reference.
- The weekly live sessions were delivered online via the Zoom platform normally starting at 1200 GMT (Tuesdays for English-speaking participants and Wednesdays for French-speaking participants). All sessions were recorded and a link uploaded on the Moodle platform for the individual's future reference.
- The weekly live sessions were facilitated by the WiR as well as guest presenters who were practicing librarians as well as Wikimedians on the African continent and in the diaspora. These were persons with renowned expertise in specific subject matters for both French and English sessions. Their inclusion on the course produced the needed variety and helped to integrate and connect participants to the Wikimedia community and vice versa while reducing the burden and stress on WiR.
- Implementing weekly office hours to complement live sessions – Office hours (starting at 1100 GMT) were non-compulsory open and more interactive sessions on Zoom. It played a key role in helping participants catch up on the course and to get direct assistance from the WiR and AfLIA’s technical team though live step-by step demonstrations via Zoom.
Part 3 of every section was an assignment. The assignment was designed for learners to deepen their understanding of the section’s content by doing one or more activities; these ranged from exploration, evaluation, editing or engagement planning, along with discussion and reflection about these activities with the other learners in the discussion forum.
The student was required to complete and submit 6 individual assignments while the last was done as a group. While no given time was set to complete the assignment, one needed to have completed and submitted all the six individual assignments by Week 9 in order to qualify for a group.
Course materials were primarily developed in English and we benefited greatly from the assistance of experienced French-speaking Wikimedians to help translate them to French. These also helped proof-read this content. Occasionally we used content translation tools online.
Students were enrolled into WhatsApp groups (both English and French) for which was very instrumental in managing the course participants, easy communication and sharing updates in real time, networking, passing on of instructions, and provision of explanations for questions that could not be asked or fully answered during class or Office Hours. Students were also encouraged to share their experiences of the course on the social media as a means of creating more awareness and socializing the project.
A telegram group (AfLIA+WikiC.1 Francais) was created for the French-speaking participants - this is relevant because it had a translator bot enabled within it so that messages could be communicated and understood in the communicator's preferred language (English or French)
Participants from previous cohorts were shifted to a dedicated Telegram group (#WikiAfLibs Alumni) in which both they and AfLIA could keep in touch with each other, share relevant LIS information, network with each other beyond the course, share opportunities and experiences among others. The telegram group is open to any and all course participants.
A hashtag was created for the project : #WikiAfLibs - https://mobile.twitter.com/search?q=%23WikiAfLibs&src=typed_query&f=top
These were bi-weekly internal project meetings. The project team met continuously to review progress of work, discuss identified challenges and plan for subsequent activities under the project
Community outreach and education
Meet and Greet Sessions
In response to the pre-course survey findings that indicated that over 55% of African Librarians were not aware of any Wikimedia affiliates in their communities, the WiR arranged a number of meet & greet sessions. These were sessions that were meant to introduce local Wikimedians to course participants in order to forge relationships for support in the course and and continuity beyond it.
- A Meet & Greet with Kenyan Librarians on 15 March 2021
- A Meet & Greet between Wikimedians in Botswana and librarians from Botswana on 25 March 2021
- Meet & Greet between Zambian Wikimedians and Zambian Librarians
- Meet & Greet between Wikimedians in Uganda and Ugandan Librarians on 10 April 2021 and 11 September 2021
- A pre-conference workshop on 24 May 2021 dedicated to Wikipedia and Libraries was part of the 4th AfLIA Conference & 6th African Libraries Summit's activities. This brought together a number of Wikibrarians (practicing librarians & Wikimedians on the African continent) to speak to AfLIA's network about the available applications of Wikipedia to their work in addition to the opportunities available through involvement.
Please provide links to all public, online documents and other artifacts that you created during the course of this project. Even if you have linked to them elsewhere in this report, this section serves as a centralized archive for everything you created during your project. Examples include: meeting notes, participant lists, photos or graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, template messages sent to participants, wiki pages, social media (Facebook groups, Twitter accounts), datasets, surveys, questionnaires, code repositories... If possible, include a brief summary with each link.
The course materials including the curriculum and course resources for Section 1-5 are domiciled in https://web.aflia.net/wikipedia-course/ where librarians and other information workers can easily access them for stepping down the training for colleagues and the user communities of libraries. Each section has resources for;
- Introduction and Learner guide and
- Presentation slides
The Live sessions of the course are on YouTube and recorded Zoom presentations.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-GsYvS3pGY - Wikipedia for you, your library and your community
- https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/sZMEozAr8Tf6bi9WQPiXQj_vKhUMMvuCPnPvd6rBc3TQyrHo_Qmd3-KL4-dwo29R1AVqn3RK4gA1ORsW._R8HQoQ-9XQXEnC8 Evaluating Wikipedia with a critical eye Pt 1
- https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/iEHAqJvDlN6k6VfY04JqNihslF0QIJjzvpMawMtVgzuAYSCD5--rBXJs1d3YKpG4TJ8aSJMYDXaHAJ9z.-Chmo9YakH-f1pe5 - Evaluating Wikipedia with a critical eye Pt 2
- https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/ChX6Q42Qq5Ut5sIkH1upqyekCP6vW1Tk2A_6veqIsYa8sRuQO8_3EZeNWY8AJyShJXFdom7y2vrQ7hD_.oNySHBe1H4fB_UUn - Wikipedia + Programming
Announcements were made to make people aware of about the project, activities and processes for joining the course starting from when the grant from Wikimedia Foundation was received - https://web.aflia.net/aflia-receives-grant-from-wikimedia-foundation/. The need to explain what the project was all about was identified and a post was written and heavily circulated to create massive buy-in from African librarians and information workers - https://web.aflia.net/wikipedia-project-for-african-librarians-liberating-knowledge/
The announcement of a job opening for a Wikipedian in Residence and a curriculum development consultant was made openly to afford everyone that that is qualified the opportunity to apply -
After the interviews, when a choice was made for the Wikipedian in Residence and a curriculum development consultant, the announcements were also made -
Announcements were made for on-boarding of the adapted curriculum pilot testing group, Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 of the Wikipedia in African Libraries course -
Materials were generated as a result of publicizing the project. A Tweet Chat was held with the Wikipedian in Residence to create awareness and to let librarians and information workers identify with her as a colleague;
A hashtag was created for the project to help track posts on social media. Posts about the project on Twitter can be found at this link -
Activities within the project were also written up in GLAM newsletters;
Fliers were used for publicity;
Two main surveys were carried out within the project. The first one was to find baseline data on digital infrastructure and skills as well as perceptions and prejudices about Wikipedia. The data collected assisted greatly in adapting the OCLC curriculum;
- Pre-research questionnaire (Baseline) - https://web.aflia.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Pre-Research-Survey_WikiAfLibs..pdf
The findings of the survey can be found in this report - https://web.aflia.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/WIKIAfLIBS-PROJECT-PRE-RESEARCH-SURVEY-REPORT.pdf
The second survey was a post-training evaluation questionnaire -
The findings of the survey can be found in the report - https://web.aflia.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/WIKIPEDIA-IN-AFRICAN-LIBRARIES-PROJECT-POST-TRAINING-EVALUATION-REPORT-1.pdf
The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.
What worked well
What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.
What didn’t work
What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.
- Assumptions that every registrant of the course will complete the tutorials and assignments and that all course participants will have access to digital infrastructure and the Internet all the time did not work. A number of African countries experienced partial to total internet shutdown  during the lifespan of the course and this affected the participation of librarians and information workers from those countries. This was an instructive lesson to always plan for such disruptions when designing an online course for countries within Africa.
- The assumption that information workers in Africa are a homogenous entity - they did come with different skills and professional backgrounds which had an influence on their interest and participation in the course.
- The inability to perceive at the conceptualization stage of the project the need for language-specific facilitators. This affected the participation and completion rate of French speaking participants despite the use of translators for the course content
In the future;
- Discovering and considering the personal circumstances that may affect the work-life balance of course participants would be integrated into the design of online course as such needs to be factored in for success.
- Creating a curriculum that offers pathways which may offer responsibility for either an individual or a group's interest or demonstrated strengths for example if one has shown interest in editing, guide them on a path in which a majority of their studying efforts are dedicated to editing and research.
- Engaging the services of language-specific facilitators to handle the training-based projects for French and Portuguese speaking participants.
If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.
Next steps and opportunities
Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.
- Closing the digital skills gap as a systematic strategy for addressing structural inequity in knowledge creation in Africa
- Increasing the visibility of library holdings across Africa to promote scholars and provide more information for linking up knowledge
- Development of open course modules (short, sharp tutorials) on Wikipedia and sister projects in African languages that are hybrid (self-paced but with a human element) which could be used by libraries for their user communities
- Bridging the gap between the academia and Wikimedia by using Wikidata, Wikibooks and Wikisource to inculcate and drive open education practices in tertiary institutions across Africa
Part 2: The Grant
Please copy and paste the completed table from your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed the actual expenditures compared with what was originally planned. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided to explain them.
|DESCRIPTION||QUANTITY||UNIT $||BUDGETED $||ACTUAL EXPENDITURE $||VARIANCE $|
|WiR Salary + Social Security||12||1,800.00||21,600.00||22,964.52||(1,364.52)|
|Curriculum Development Expert||1||1,500.00||1,500.00||1,500.00||-|
|Program Development & Materials Budget (translation, internet, online promotion, souvenirs and miscellaneous)||1||12,698.00||12,698.00||11,743.62||954.38|
|Income received Wikimedia Foundation||-||-||-||54,273.00||-|
|Net Cash Balance||-||-||-||13.38||-|
|1. Figures in parentheses are negative.
2. Benefits to the WiR exceeded budgeted amount due to a 2-months no cost project extension. Portion of the various surpluses were used to finance the deficit on the WiR budget line.
3. The expenditure on online promotion exceeded budgeted amount due to exceeded promotions and market price variations.
Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?
Please answer yes or no. If yes, list the amount you did not use and explain why.
A balance of $13.38 was left unspent.
If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:
Please answer yes or no. If no, include an explanation.
Confirmation of project status
Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?
Please answer yes or no.
Is your project completed?
Please answer yes or no.
We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being a grantee has gone overall. Is there something that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed, or that you’ll do differently going forward as a result of the Project Grant experience? Please share it here!
The divide between Wikipedia and the academia fueled by wrong perceptions, made selling the importance of gaining skills for working on the resource and sister projects to librarians across Africa, daunting. However, the Wikipedia in African Libraries course succeeded in changing the perceptions of a good number of African librarians who formerly felt that Wikipedia could not help them factually meet the information needs of their user communities for teaching, learning, research and lifelong learning purposes.
Going forward, a network of librarians who 'Wikipedia' has been born in Africa (Wikibrarians). Keeping them engaged to continue to use their newly acquired skills to provide information services using Wikipedia and sister projects as well as teach their user communities to tell their stories by themselves is important. Also, from every indication, African librarians are going to be a major gateway to get the academia in the continent's tertiary institutions to embrace opening up knowledge through the the Wikimedia movement.